I lost my precious Mom in June. She was 98 and still living at home with caregivers. She had a long and wonderful life and left behind a houseful of antiques, art, and furniture that were just as wonderful. I can still hear her saying, “you and your sister keep these valuables in the family, if not for you, then for your children.”
Her words were loud and clear and are still ringing in my ears.
This would be a challenge…
I too have a houseful of treasures accumulated over a lifetime, and my taste and Moms are on opposite ends of the totem pole. An interior designer for 40 years, I designed and built my Asian Modern dream home and filled it with modern art, ethnic artifacts, and Asian antiques and accessories. My Mom on the other hand loved everything French from provencaux to Rococo. I like straight lines, she liked curved. I like simple, she ornate.
The process of integrating her things into my home was not only physically challenging as it required rearranging my things to make room for hers, but it was also emotionally challenging as I tried to honor her wishes while keeping my own design identity.
What would I do with the Liberace candelabras, the Antique Venetian glass mirror, the silver tea service and soup tureen, and my grandmother’s Italian Renaissance replica credenza and mirror which she hand carved in 1929?
Trust me…it was not an easy task. When my husband, (who normally could care less about decor) said “those Liberace candelabras” are NOT going on our dining table, I began to sob. Complete breakdown.
But after a good cry I had an epiphany. I stopped resisting. I cleared the decks and embraced mom’s things, found perfect places for them all, and then started incorporating my things back in around hers. The magic happened. It all began to resonate and twinkle. I felt comfort in being surrounded by the family heirlooms that were a part of my childhood. It added another dimension to our home. One I could never have imagined. Mom was right once again. I’m certain she is smiling down from heaven saying “I told you so.”
So if you are facing a similar dilemma, and need professional help integrating family heirlooms into your home, I’ve mastered the task. Don’t hesitate to contact me for help.